Friday’s Results: 2-3
All Time Results: 81-94-2, -7.65 Units
Golden State Warriors -7.5 vs. Portland Trail Blazers – 1 Unit
The spread would be about right here based on Power Rankings. The Warriors without KD in my estimation are about 4 to 4.5 points better than this current Trail Blazers club. However, the line does not properly account for the major scheduling advantage present here for Golden State. The Dubs have had 4 days to rest and recuperate, while the Blazers played a slug-fest of a Game 7 less than 48 hours ago. Portland has spent much of its small amount of preparation time before the series traveling. While the Warriors have slept on their own beds for the better part of a week, the Blazers flew directly from Denver to Oakland Sunday night.
If you break this match-up down positionally, it’s not hard to come up for justification that the current Warriors are at least 4 points better than the Blazers, even without KD.
As great as the Blazers back-court has played, they don’t have the pedigree of the Splash Brothers and are less accustomed to the league’s biggest stages. Even if the backcourts are equal, the Warriors will exploit the Blazers thin froncourt, with Andre Iguodala & Draymond Green exposing Zach Collins & Enes Kanter’s flaws, limitations & inexperience.
A scheduling disadvantage can be overcome if there is particular match-up advantage on the other side. But one simply does not exist here. The Warriors have dealt well with Portland’s style over the years. Since 2014 the Warriors are 23-7 overall and 18-12 ATS against the Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers Under 106.5 – 1 Unit
Kevin Durant missed a home playoff game against these same Blazers in 2017. In that contest the Warriors held Portland to only 81 points. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined to shoot 9 for 34 with 9 turnovers.
Both Blazers guards put in Herculean efforts to get past a solid Nuggets squad in 7 games. I would not be surprised if the pair threw up another <30% shooting dud after the quick turnaround.
The Under has hit 8 of the last 10 GSW games that Kevin Durant has missed. The average combined total in these games is only 204.7. Since KD joined the team, the Warriors are 30-4 in games that KD has missed where Steph has played. They have posted a better defensive rating in these games than they have had overall.
Golden State Warriors -12.5 over Portland Trail Blazers (+200) – 1 Unit
Again, given the travel schedule there is a significant chance of a no-show by this Portland team. Especially if they get down early, it might be in their best interest to concede and re-group to attempt to get the split in Game 2. The Blazers cannot win the series in Game 1 – but as the 2017 Spurs realized – they can lose it. Overuse injuries are always a possibility this time of year when key players are asked to play more minutes than they have throughout the entire season.
One analyst – while watching the Nuggets and Blazers slug it out on Sunday – estimated that a fair line for this game would be 14.5 points in favor of GSW, regardless of which team the Warriors would have to face. If that is true – or in the ballpark – then we are looking at oodles of value here.